Described as a global design awards program dedicated to the year’s best products and projects. The Interior Design Magazine, Best of Year Awards honors the most significant work of the year as well as recognises designers, architects and manufacturers from around the globe.
The WW Chair, part of our 2016 Collection, designed by multidisciplinary studio Hierve – is one of our most popular furniture pieces to date. The two Ws in the chair’s name stand for Windsor and Wire, which allude to its form and materials. It is a hybrid piece, which gives a contemporary twist to a traditional design language.
Inspired by the classic lines of a Windsor chair, the WW Chair consists of a combination of solid wood for the seat and legs and shafts of 5mm powder coating metal wire extend upwards from below the seat. They fan slightly outwards from their point of origin before meeting the wooden backrest. This gives the chair a sculptural quality and sense of lightness.
Discover the WW Chair
About BoY – Interior Design’s Best of Year is the design industry’s premiere design awards, honoring the most significant work of the year as well as recognizing designers, architects and manufacturers from around the globe. Now celebrating its 11th year, Interior Design’s Best of Year (affectionately known as BoY) has become the ultimate measure of excellence, showcasing what’s happening today in every category of design while simultaneously setting the design bar even higher for the future.
The BoY awards ceremony, which was held December 1st at the IAC Building in New York City, draws 1000+ world-wide attendees. Winners were announced LIVE at a festive ceremony and took home the coveted Best of Year Bulb award, designed by icon-to-be Harry Allen.
The Winners and Honorees will be featured in the December issue of Interior Design, dedicated to Best of Year, and on interiordesign.net.
Alejandro Villarreal, Co Founder & Creative Director of H Furniture is a man of many virtues – not only is he a trained architect leading his own multidisciplinary design studio Hierve between México City and London; but has a sensitivity for the visual arts – which is reflected in his furniture design, specifically in the Leather Collection which he refers as having a sense of visual rhythm and musicality to it.
Busy working on our new collection 2017 (to be launched next month) – Alejandro had a moment to talk to us 1 on 1 about his personal vision when designing. We picked the Leather Solid Backrest Chair as the topic of conversation and discovered some interesting facts behind its versatile design, that can be as easily placed in a contract setting or in a private dining room.
FACT 1: The Leather Solid Backrest Chair was inspired from mid-century Scandinavian Design, specifically Ole Wanscher’s Colonial Chair & the Barcelona Chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. ‘The aim was to design a dining chair in solid wood and leather, both natural and appealing materials to the senses.’ – Alejandro Villarreal.
FACT 2: The Leather Solid Backrest Chair works perfectly in a contract environment – from Alejandro’s point of view ‘quantity and repetition can have a good visual impact in an interior designed setting’.
FACT 3: When asked in what way the chair enhances a space visually? Alejandro mentioned that the choice of materials, along with the geometry of the backrest and the leather stripes on the edge of the seat, adds a layer of luxury and refinement to any interior environment.
Above: Renders by Hierve – Leather Solid Backrest in fabric.
FACT 4: So what is next for the Leather Collection? According to Alejandro – Hierve is developing a bar stool for H Furniture with the same kind of solid backrest as the chair – which offers our clients a wider selection from the collection to work with.
The Leather Solid Backrest chair as most of H Furniture seating ranges is available in a selection of both leather and fabric choices, as well as Oak and American walnut finishes.
For further information or price enquiries email [email protected]
Growing up in a artist’s house gave me an instinct towards mixing colour. This project wasn’t about trends, it was about creating something unique and bold. We started with the rough palette and then altered them so they became less primary and more surprising. Pairs of colours started to come from the selection and then combinations of three and four. All the while we were making slight alterations. I think at one point we had about nine or ten colours, but this gradually got whittled down to the final six.
As designers, I think we feel naturally comfortable with unknown outcomes and for us this project is an experiment. We have no master plan to ditch graphic design and move into furniture. We are genuinely happy working across disciplines – we often work on exhibition spaces and interiors. So this is an adventure and we can’t wait to see what happens next.
See the WW Chair Colour Series online
Learn more about Studio Makgill
The Pie Chart system has all the design credentials you would expect from the award-winning design studio Hierve, and with its modularity and functionality it makes a desirable collection of furniture products for home or office.
All the pieces of the Pie Chart system come together to form a whole or can be used individually: side tables that have the option to be flush against a sofa or any surface; hidden container storage, low table or coffee table, the uses are endless. As with all H Furniture’s collections it has quality at its core, craftsmanship plays a huge role in their manufacturing process.
The end results are always perfectly balanced and finely tuned. The Pie Chart system has a timeless charm that is so appealing and here we have a little insight into how it all came together in a recent interview with Alejandro Villarreal, who is both Hierve’s and H Furniture’s founder as well as Creative Director for H Furniture.
IP: The Pie Chart system of tables and storage is an ingenious piece of design. How did you approach the concept? What came first – wanting to design clever modular storage or creating a visually expressive piece of furniture ?
AV: Originally I was thinking on developing a systemic, versatile and multi-functional coffee table. At the same time, my approach to design always aims at finding a balance between functionality and creative expressiveness.
IP: Did you have a customer in mind when you designed The Pie Chart system?
AV: Not really, although I was considering myself and my family as potential users of the system.
IP: The Pie Chart system is perfect geometry, with curves, angles and straight lines – it looks like an enormously challenging design to create, is the process as complicated as it looks?
AV: Not necessarily. We need to consider that geometry in itself is an exquisite and powerful tool. By using it with a simple logic, incredibly, an unexpected outcome emerges during the design process.
IP: How much does your practice as an multi-disciplinary design studio impact on individual designs? How does architecture and visual art integrate into your furniture design?
AV: It has been a while since we have worked on an architectural or visual arts project. In reality these different disciplines provide me with platforms to investigate and develop creative ideas and insights. It is also true that creativity informs creativity and that having an open and curious mind stimulates ideas.
IP: You have created a very sophisticated palette of colours for the Pie Chart system, what is the process you go through to arrive at the final colour scheme?
AV: I started with natural wood, then added the basic neutral colours (black, white and grey), then added a few smooth colourful tones and ended up by adding just one vibrant colour (yellow). Having said that – The Pie Chart system was created for H Furniture as part of their collection and based on their principle of bespoke concepts. The colour combinations are endless, and we let the customer play around with choosing their own palette.
IP: Materials are so important, you work a lot with solid wood, and The Pie Chart system is primarily a wood structure. What is the best thing about about natural materials? How important are the use of different materials/type of wood in the production of your furniture designs?
AV: Materials are fundamental, they are very much at the core of my design process. Solid wood is my favourite material as it is warm, noble and gives most of us a profound (almost unconscious) connection back with nature. By contrasting solid wood with other colours and materials, the qualities of both are enhanced and emphasised.
IP: When you designed the Pie Chart system where did you see it’s application, with its multiple modules it offers many configurations, would you say this is predominantly for contract use?
AV: From the very beginning, the application aimed mainly as a coffee table system, but because of its modularity and flexibility, its range can go from a single side table in a home to a meters long coffee table used in a hotel, office environment or transportation hub.
IP: You have said this is a playful object, does that reflect the way Hierve like to work – adding flashes of colour or surprise into such rigorous design principles?
AV: I believe that rigour and order should exist, in order for play to be able to emerge. If you look at the way most children play, there is always structure, guidelines and limits.
IP: There is a fantastic quote on your website “Perfection is found within imperfection” is this a catalyst for your studio designs?
AV: As I have a perfectionist thrive, this quote serves me as a good reminder that in reality things are already perfect as they are, that perfection is an illusion and that our aim should be more towards excellence.
London-based furniture brand H Furniture has launched a solid wood and metal take on the traditional English Windsor chair.
The WW Chair by Mexican design and architecture studio Hierve for H Furniture comprises a solid wood seat suspended on four tapered legs, with wire spindles that connect the underside of the seat to a horizontal wooden bar, creating a flexible backrest.
The classic lines of the traditional Windsor chair inspired the legs and slightly curved seat, and in fact WW stands for Windsor and Wire – the wire providing the twist on this English classic. But designer Alejandro Villarreal insists he didn’t set out to create a contemporary version of the Windsor: “The WW came out of the need for a simple, beautiful, commercial contract chair,” he says. “There was no real intention to update the Windsor chair. There was only a clear love and appreciation for its qualities, so I used it as a starting point to find something new.” Having the wire back come from the underside of the seat, instead of out of the seat’s top as per the original, “was simply an impulse, nothing more,” he says.
As Co-founder of both H furniture and Hierve, Villarreal’s working process starts manually: “My design process always starts with a hand-drawn sketch, which I find intimate and very personal,” he says. “After that, I share the sketch with my design team and we start the painstaking process of 3D modeling.” The design for the WW Chair took six months and three prototypes to get right. “It was a very intuitive, iterative process,” says Villarreal.
The wooden parts of the chair are made from solid European oak or American walnut. The seat is partly CNC (computer numerically controlled) cut and partly hand carved, while the legs are milled using traditional machinery. “Oak is my favourite wood and walnut brings a nice contrast and can be very beautiful as well,” says Villarreal. “It also happens that both materials are quite commercial.”
The distinctive back is made from 17 lengths of five-millimetre powder-coated metal wire welded to a solid plate that is attached to the underside of the seat. They are bent into shape and held in place by a second metal plate embedded in the solid wood backrest. A low-level horizontal wire keeps them evenly spaced. “Wire was the natural material to choose for the back,” explains the designer. “It enabled us to achieve the desired thickness and structural strength.” The use of wire also creates flexibility in a back that gently moves in response to the sitter’s weight, making the chair more dynamic and ergonomic than its predecessor.
On the contrast of wood and wire, Villarreal says: “I always want to respect the beauty of materials and I like bringing them together in a way that makes each one bigger or better than it was on its own.”
The chair was officially launched at an event in London’s Clerkenwell in late February, and so far the response has been good. “I think the chair evokes something that people have seen before,” says the designer “but with an element of surprise and intrigue.” The WW chair is available in a solid oak or American walnut, with or without a white, black and grey stain, or with an upholstered seat in a choice of fabrics and leather.
Clerkenwell Design Week 2016 was three days of unadulterated design throughout London’s EC1 district at the end of May: exhibitions; installations; pop-up museums; crypts and churches playing host to designers with architects collaborating and connecting on every street corner. Celebrating its 8th year, Clerkenwell Design Week has clustered hubs of design across its 2.5sq miles, in an area that houses thousands of architects, reputedly the greatest concentration of architects on the planet. H Furniture too was participating at the newest destination, Design Fields, near Exmouth Market.
In addition to showcasing The Wheel by Vladimir Kagan, H Furniture’s latest selection was presented in a new super sleek black finish – demonstrating black is most definitely back.
The collections resonate restrained, refined and well-proportioned furniture, it is a company
that designs furniture to last forever. Their understated approach belies the great skill and craftsmanship that is at the core of every collection designed and each piece made.
Set against the stark white tent backdrop, the contrast of the collection made an impact especially with its exemplary WW Chair, a new take on a classic Windsor. Designed by multi-disciplinary design studio Hierve, the WW Chair has powder-coated wire rods that fan out to create a sculptural back, these are set into a solid oak or walnut seat – the end result is a streamlined chair that would be equally at home in restaurants and dining rooms alike.
Alongside the WW Chair was the Corner sideboard, a simple credenza with hand-carved detailing. The perfect geometry of the Corner sideboard with its accented corner cut-out was a subtle feature with a big effect. By contrast the Pie-Chart System side table/storage offered another take on H Furniture’s interest in geometric shapes: up to five different sections give the user free reign to get get creative; a playful modular system that masters functionality. Other designs including the Leather Chair and Belt Series showed off the use of materials and attention to detail. This well curated space allowed visitors to the stand an opportunity to explore and experience the designs first hand.
Words by Industry Publicity